Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Erythroblastosis Fetalis Overview

What is erythroblastosis fetalis?
A newborn with erythroblastosis fetalis has anemia, caused by the destruction of red blood cells. Erythroblastosis fetalis occurs when the mother's blood enters the infant's bloodstream. If the mother has an Rh-negative blood type, the mother's immune system attacks the red blood cells of the fetus. If this happens, the infant's red blood cells are destroyed, resulting in hemolytic anemia.

What are the symptoms of erythroblastosis fetalis?
Early symptoms of erythroblastosis fetalis include jaundice, brown urine, liver enlargement, spleen enlargement, abdominal swelling, leg swelling, and a rash that looks like bruises or broken blood vessels in the skin.

How does the doctor treat erythroblastosis fetalis?
Treatment for erythroblastosis fetalis may include phototherapy, blood transfusion, and early delivery.

Continue to Erythroblastosis Fetalis Incidence

Last Updated: Feb 14, 2011 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Erythroblastosis Fetalis References
  1. Dennery PA. Pharmacological interventions for the treatment of neonatal jaundice. Semin Neonatol. 2002 Apr;7(2):111-9. [12208095]
  2. Faber BM, Mills JF. Early intravenous nutrition for the prevention of neonatal jaundice. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2003;(3):CD003846. [12917992]
  3. Gourley GR. Breast-feeding, neonatal jaundice and kernicterus. Semin Neonatol. 2002 Apr;7(2):135-41. [12208098]
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